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See more synonyms for clatter on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object)
  1. to make a loud, rattling sound, as that produced by hard objects striking rapidly one against the other: The shutters clattered in the wind.
  2. to move rapidly with such a sound: The iron-wheeled cart clattered down the street.
  3. to talk fast and noisily; chatter: They clattered on and on about their children.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to cause to clatter: clattering the pots and pans in the sink.
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  1. a rattling noise or series of rattling noises: The stagecoach made a terrible clatter going over the wooden bridge.
  2. noisy disturbance; din; racket.
  3. noisy talk; din of voices: They had to shout over the clatter at the cocktail party.
  4. idle talk; gossip.
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Origin of clatter

before 1050; Middle English clateren, Old English clatr- (in clatrunge); cognate with Dutch klateren to rattle; see -er6
Related formsclat·ter·er, nounclat·ter·ing·ly, adverbclat·ter·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for clatter

clack, hurtle, clang, ballyhoo, rattle, pandemonium, hullabaloo, rumpus, racket, bluster, clangor, smashing, shattering, smash, clank, noise, clash, roar, bump, shatter

Examples from the Web for clatter

Contemporary Examples of clatter

Historical Examples of clatter

  • He threw the helmet with a clatter on to the table as if it had been the knave's canting head.


    William J. Locke

  • He entered in the clatter of the shop bell with an air of sombre and vexed exhaustion.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • The clatter of crockery did not cease in the adjoining room.

  • There was a clatter and rattle of speeding hoofs, which rapidly died out.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • The clatter of hoofs was growing louder with each passing second.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

British Dictionary definitions for clatter


  1. to make or cause to make a rattling noise, esp as a result of movement
  2. (intr) to chatter
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  1. a rattling sound or noise
  2. a noisy commotion, such as one caused by loud chatter
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Derived Formsclatterer, nounclatteringly, adverbclattery, adjective

Word Origin for clatter

Old English clatrung clattering (gerund); related to Dutch klateren to rattle, German klatschen to smack, Norwegian klattra to knock
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for clatter


late Old English clatrung "clattering, noise," verbal noun implying an Old English *clatrian, of imitative origin. Cf. Middle Dutch klateren, East Frisian klatern, dialectal German klattern. The noun is attested from mid-14c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper